Garrett was born in 1969 and within months he had his first mobile home experience.
My parents bought a mobile home in north county Dublin and took on the difficult task to move it to Morriscastle in Kilmukridge Co Wexford. A new mobile home park in Wexford had been set up after the owner had seen a future in mobile home parks. My father and mother had been looking for a place to escape to with their seven children especially for the summer months. They had spent time visiting B&B’s around Wexford to locate a place to build a summer house. Back then the parks were quite new and the services on the parks where minimal. Water was drawn from the nearest hand pumped well on the road or at the local village. Toilet blocks were only being built, no electricity so the lighting was via lanterns which were gas powered lights with mantels. I believe that when you closed the door in the mobile you could destroy the mantle and the light would go out. They would have to get a candle to find a replacement mantle. My father worked in the ESB and when the toilet block was finished he asked Mr Lawler if he could connect the mobile to the electricity, which he did.
The mobile home was bought so that my parents could also get involved in the house they were building as cement strikes and other issues were holding the construction up. They had bought the land off Mr Lawer who put that money into the parks toilet block and improving the services on the park. In 1971 the house was finished and the mobile home passed on to my father’s friend. As kids we spent most of our days on the mobile home parks playing rounders, tennis, football during the day and hide and seek, kick the can, cards and board games at night. There was great community sprit with everyone minding everyone. Kids were free to go to the beach, through the local fields and had great fun mixing, and parents enjoyed similar freedom, sometimes! Over the passing years we all built up great friendships with park residents and locals alike. I always remember those years spent in Morriscastle as the happiest of my life and still love to go down throughout the year meeting old friends and making new ones.
Parks, Camping and Caravanning.
In 1977 I experiences Camping and Caravan parks, not in Ireland but in France & Spain as my father was a bit of an adventurer. All nine of us, packed into an Opel Record estate travelling to Roslare to get the car ferry to France. Back then there were no seat belts in the back, no requirement to wear them and overloading passengers into a car was not illegal. We drove through France erecting a large eight person tent in camping parks and lay bys off the motorway, into Spain and camped on a park called Camping Valldaro. We repeated the journey seven times over several years bringing large tents, tailor tents, touring caravans and once my parents returned in a camper van. The parks in Europe were well equipped with swimming pools, trampolines, amusements and each night there was entertainment at the parks restraunt and bar. In 2005 our entire family (35 my parents, sisters & brothers, husbands & wives, all their grandchildren) revisited Camping Valldaro. We stayed in mobile homes on the site for a week each of us remembering the great time and telling stories about the experiences we had in the 70’s & 80’s there. Camping around Ireland especially in my late teens and early twenties will always be memorable. Spending time camping in Galway, Cork and Kerry. Camping in Co Kerry, Ballyferriter in the late 80's where I had to make sure I had everything I needed as anything could happen. Garrettstown, Co Cork was another favourite spot and I always loved camping near the Sea meeting new people and just experiencing life.
I now have my own family of five children aged 22, 18, 16, 10 and 9 who too spent summers in Wexford. A number of year’s back we were requested to go on a hostel experience and write a blog of our experiences. Visiting hostels around Ireland was great, mainly in the West of Ireland. I always loved the experience of visiting new places and would say that when it comes to holidays, Ireland is my favorite place (I’m not a big fan of the sun). Having a house is not the same as having a mobile home or camping in many ways; on a park the kids open the door and are free, calling for friends and playing from early morning. The parks have a sense of community, where everyone looks after each other. Kids find friends; parents get to know one another through their kids. Over the year’s parks have had to restrict parks to residents only. This has been done for lots of reasons, insurance, health and safety, respect for residents among others and the resident is uppermost in the park owners mind. My younger kids always spend most of their time on the parks in Kilmuckridge with friends who they met while down in the house. I did find that unlike myself, as my kids became teenagers, getting them down can be difficult. They say ist boring, there's nothing for them to do. This can become a nightmare listening to them complain during the week before going. Yet I know that they would meet and find friends and have the craic! Things haven’t really changed as my younger kids who mix and find great friends on the parks still introduce parents to each other and the cycles begin again.
Garrett “How It’s Made”.
I was always interested in everything especially electronics, and how things worked, or didn't! When I was younger I would take things apart like toys, radios, bikes and anything I could get my hands on to see how they worked. If something was broken I always wanted to fix it. Even today if something breaks or goes wrong, family and friends contact me to fix things. I always hated being idle and at age nine I got my first job in the best place for me, a hardware store. There I learned the most important thing in business “the customer is always right”. The owner of the shop who ran a family business had a very simple rule when it came to return of an item or if a customer had any problem. We were to help in every way and refunds were to be handled in the following way; offer a full refund, then a replacement and finally a repair. The shop was always busy as the owner was respected and trusted so much, that nobody would leave the shop with a problem. I would serve customers, go to suppliers to collect goods, arrive at the shop before the owner soaking up as much as I could. I will always remember this job as it thought me respect, honesty, and to look at giving a service to people that you would like to receive yourself.
My first computer experiences.
In 1984 while in secondary school I was introduced to an Apple mac computer as computers were only being introduced in schools. Computers didn’t grab me then because all I saw was a light gray TV with a keyboard that you had to tell to do everything. QDos was only three years old and there were few programs out there for computers. Computers were new to everyone including teachers who were only learning about them also. While in FAS I had my second introduction to computers. This time things were moving fast in the computing world, I was doing Dbase or database where information was stored for whatever the application was. My family business had just taken on to put in a computer system and my father said that I was part of the computer generation. I got very involved with the computing side of things and before I knew it I had a great grasp of systems and programming. I had a natural ability to take a manual procedure, analyse it, break down each process and program or teach a computer to do each task. I started to learn a language called Foxpro which was a high level code for databases. This sucked me in even further as I have great energy and learned that a computer never gets tired. I started streamlining the procedures and taking more complex tasks and getting the computer to do them. I took over the IT section of the business, Hardware, networking and programming. One task involved collaborating and negotiating with ESB, Telecom Eireann and Bord Gais which introduced me to my first portable hand held computer. The Internet became a very important tool and it was only available for public use for a few years. I would use it to download drivers and software, share programs we were working on and send files to people. It was completely different from what we use today as 28Kbps was the fastest modem on dial up yet it was excellent as very few people used the internet at that time. I got involved in my first fixed lease line in the mid 90’s for a hotel owner who had signed a contract for a 1Mb line (Which was considered really fast back then) at an annual contract value of £95,000 per year. Today we are all used to connecting at several times that speed for a portion of that price and still it is never fast enough.
Why Air WiFi?
I was asked to look into setting up internet access for a leisure park in Kilmuckridge and WiFi was the future networking for everybody. Cost effective, easy to access for the end user mainly as a result of the smartphone and when it came to mobile home parks I had a good understanding of parks and the resident.. The park was set up and later a holiday village which I continued to monitor because my early beliefs’ still remain “giving service to people that you would like to receive yourself”.
Once I believed we could fulfil my business ethics and beliefs to potential customer and the end user we started passionately developing Air WiFi. We started seeking the knowledge and experience from people involved in WiFi. We contacted people around the world who were providing WiFi in mobile home parks (trailer parks). People on the ground fitting systems in the US that had learnt the hard way who we were to become great friends with. They passed on the problems they had experienced among other information which improved our knowledge giving us great insight. Every time we spoke to anyone in the computer network business and internet connections they all had similar responses, “the quality of the internet connection is the key” or “The Last Mile”. We focused in dealing with this problem by meeting telecoms providers and set out to achieve the best results for our potential clients. We then started taking on high volume locations where up to 400 devices would connect to a network. This gave us first hand knowledge of what can effect WiFi, how to control traffic flow, dealing with other networks interfering with ours and lots more.
Resent problem solving.
In February 2015 we replaced all the equipment on the first park we set up as the supply company had issues and agreed to replace all the equipment with the latest AC 1.2Gbps access points. In April 2015 Europe had brought in new regulations in relation to interference and how a network had to handle radar traffic. This regulation exposed a serious issue on the park and holiday village the WiFi access points were disconnecting for 15 to 30 minutes and which caused other issues. The system manufacture, Cisco were unable to assist any further only say that they had to take the actions they were taking as it was a regulation as a result of a DFS event. We set about finding the cause ourselves and were successful in tracing and resolving the problem which was beyond Cisco system and the parks network. The client told us that Cisco was impressed with our ability to locate and resolve the issue. We could have only done this because we had learned from our experiences of the past and had an ability to understand what was going on.
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